Lobbying disclosure upheldBy Bill Allison Sep 08 2009 10:14 p.m.
Details available from Legal Times blog here:
In the opening lines of the 48-page opinion, written by Judge Merrick Garland, the court points to a Supreme Court case in 1954 that said the public disclosure of individuals who are trying to influence legislation is "vital" national interest.
"Because nothing has transpired in the last half century to suggest that the national interest in public disclosure of lobbying information is any less vital than it was when the Supreme Court first considered the issue, we reject that challenge," Garland wrote in today's opinion, which was joined by Judges Douglas Ginsburg and Karen LeCraft Henderson.
At issue was a provision in the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 that requires associations to disclose the identity of anyone paying more than $5,000 a quarter and actively participating in a lobbying campaign.
This is good as far as it goes, but having spent significant time studying the disclosures made by lobbyists for foreign interests, it seems almost quaint that, when it comes to domestic lobbying, listing the names of those paying for the lobbying is in dispute. How about listing who those lobbyists are meeting with, and what's being discussed?
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